This September saw 35 members of Cork Surf Life Saving travel to Holland to compete in the Life Saving World Championships at Master, Senior and Youth levels.
Cork also sent the first ever Irish crew to compete in the Inflatable Rescue Boat Competition. Over 4,000 athletes from around the World took part in these Championships organised by the International Lifesaving Federation and hosted by the Dutch Life Saving Federation.
Life Saving Sport is a true multi-disciplinary sport based on the skills and equipment used in lifeguarding. It offers something for athletes of all ages and abilities plus an opportunity to compete on the International Stage and is unique as it injects a Life Saving Skill back into a Community.
This World Championships has been spectacularly successful for Cork Surf Life Saving who train on Inchydoney Beach in the Summer and in Clonakilty Park Leisure Centre over the Winter Months. The Masters team secured a Gold Medal for Eilish Wilcox and Sharon Russell in the Line Throw Event, Silver for Oonagh Brady, Deborah O’Connell and Anne Kingston in the Rescue Board Relay, Bronze for Eilish Wilcox in the Individual Surf Swim and Bronze for Bridget Walsh, Eilish Wilcox and Anne Kingston in the Surf Ski Relay. As well as smashing seven National Records the Masters came home with Numerous Personal Bests.
Cork Senior Team Member, Alannah Crowley, Clonakilty won World Championship Gold as part of a Mass Rescue Team event in the Inflatable Rescue Boat Competition.
15 Year Old Laura Nicholson, Clonakilty won an Individual World Championship Silver Medal in the 2km Beach Run just pipped to the post by an Australian girl and Moira Barrett also from Clonakilty came 7th in the same event. Laura Nicholson came 6th in the 90m Beach Sprint and 14th in the Youth Beach Flag Event. Nathan Holding, Clonakilty competed on the Irish National Youth Life Saving Team and also for his Club getting to National and Interclub Beach Flag Finals.
As well as competing on the International stage our Masters have secured the Overall Irish National Title in Waterford this weekend. Not to be outdone, the youngest members of our Club (our Nippers aged between 8 and 14) have also won back to back National Titles in the Pool and the Ocean. Our Senior team boasts members who work for the County Council as Beach Guards on many of Cork Counties blue flag beaches during the summer months!
In challenging conditions and with a number of events cancelled because of dangerous conditions Cork Seniors and Masters battled it out with Ireland’s top competitors on Clonea Beach, Co. Waterford this weekend (24th September). Cork Masters finished second to Waterford in Beach Events but still retained the All Ireland Title. Cork Seniors had lots to cheer about with top ten finishes for many competitors as well as Gold in Beach Flags for Nathan Holding!
The Sport of Surf Life Saving
Life Saving Sport can be broken down into two categories namely Pool and Ocean. Firstly, pool events involve retrieving manikins from deep water and bringing them safely to shore at speed, mastering the use of rescue tubes and throw lines, as well as negotiating obstacles and the exciting SERC (Simulated Emergency Response Competition). Many disciplines feature individual and team relay events.
Ocean event categories involve Inflatable Rescue Boats, Rescue Boards, Surf Skis, Ocean Swimming, Board Rescue, Rescue Tube Relay and Beach Events again in both individual and team groups. Training involves achieving high levels of personal fitness and stamina. The challenge lies in being able to contend with all types of sea conditions while managing rescue boards or surf skis through the water. But sand events are not to be underestimated. Beach sprints and the well loved ‘flags’ event draw the most ambitious competitors who test their reflexes and strive to succeed in the 20m sudden death sprint runs which the best in the World can complete in under 4 seconds.
The extensive age categories in lifesaving sport and the variation of events proves a popular choice for families with all members of a family competing at different levels.
Winter Training will commence shortly and New Members are always welcome. Contact Justin Crowley, Sports Officer Cork Water Safety for more information (086) 8915219 – What are you waiting for!!